Saturday, March 15, 2014

Medical Marijuana

This is a controversial one. I was raised in the church. The automatic answer is marijuana is wrong. I have found the it's not quite black and white. What if you have a friend who is suffering from cancer. She has lost all her hair. She is a fraction of who she was physically. Medications don't work. Nothing takes the pain away. She tries marijuana because she has tried EVERYTHING else. It works. Is it still wrong?

My Tony suffered from pain in numerous places in his body 24/7 for the last 4 1/2 years. When asked what his pain level is between 1 and 10 (10 being the worst pain you could imagine), he would answer about a 7. Then I finally realized that the pain he was imagining as a 10 would be know like in the movies...for people that are being interrogated...being electrocuted...being beaten until near death... When I explained that's not what the doctor meant, he went to the doctor to make sure. The doctor incredulously said no way; 10 is the worst pain you can live with in a normal life situation. Then Tony said that his pain would be a 10, maybe higher. This is what he lived with every day. He ALWAYS had a headache; sometimes it was only a 4. His back ALWAYS hurt; he would moan or cry out in his sleep. He was given so many different pain medications. Nothing worked. It might take the pain down by 1 or 2 levels, but would never take it away completely. His pain was never less than a 4. I can't imagine living with a level 4 pain every day in at least 3 different places on my body. How can a person live that way?! He tried Vicodin. He tried Norco. These are both extremely potent. They can cause addiction. They didn't work on his pain. After 3 1/2 years of living this way, Tony started researching medical marijuana.

Here's the honest part. I was so disappointed. I was angry at God. Marijuana is wrong. I almost don't care if it works, I don't want it in my home. Second-hand marijuana gives me headaches; it usually ends in a migraine. We researched it together...I did it grudgingly...just to say I was supportive. I ended up with a knowledge of marijuana that isn't talked about. I still hate it. Not only does second-hand give me headaches, but I have found out the hard way (many times) that it sets off a huge asthma attack where I have to consider calling 911. I also puke my brains out. It's quite fun. (sarcasm) Did you know that there are many different kinds of marijuana. Some that is for pain. Some that is for nausea. Some that is for sleeplessness. There are others that help so many different things. Tony's doctor gave him a referral for a doctor who can give out cannabis cards. We went to see that doctor. That doctor gave him his card. We found a dispensary. The dispensary gave us another education. They were helpful. Over the last few months of Tony's life (he started to go downhill quickly during his last 4 months), he tried a few different types of marijuana. He kept a log about which ones did what for him, so he would remember the ones that worked and the ones that didn't. I shouldn't say that they didn't work; they just had side effects that he didn't like. He carefully chose the kinds that would help his needs: pain, vertigo, nausea, sleeplessness. Some of them helped so much that we would have a great day, almost like old times. We didn't talk to others about it. Most of the family didn't know. It's controversial. It was also our decision. We chose to make his last days as tolerable as possible (we thought we have a few more years before we would lose him mentally or physically). I thought I had at least 20 more years of snuggling and hanging together.

So what opinion did I get out of all this? It helped him. It's hard to see your husband in so much pain, and with marijuana he was not in pain. I am still not a happy camper about marijuana, but I will not argue with people who need it for health. They say it's not addictive, but I have seen some varieties become addictive for some people. They say it kills brain cells. I have no idea about that one. His mental abilities did go down greatly while he was on marijuana, but that could have been from his illness. I don't think it should be legal for everywhere all the time. Second-hand would probably kill me in higher dosages than Tony gave me. I know there are others out there who have the same asthma problems I do. FYI: I also have a similar reaction to cigarette smoke. If I outlawed one, I'd have to outlaw the other since they both make my throat close up. This is another one of the false thoughts that I have...I feel guilty because I'm glad Tony died, so I don't have to deal with the marijuana anymore. I was too embarrassed yesterday to write it out. This is a taboo subject. You don't talk about it unless you are saying it's a terrible thing and should be outlawed. I felt guilty yesterday for not writing it down. It was part of my life, and it's one of my false thoughts.

Today I chose joy by choosing to write this blog about my life about a controversial subject. I chose joy by choosing truth instead of hiding and being afraid of what my life included. I chose joy by buying boxes, so I can start packing up my house. I chose joy by choosing to sell my house and put the bad memories aside. (I haven't sold it; I haven't even put it on the market yet.) I chose joy by actually thinking about my future beyond 6 years from now. I chose joy by making a Plan B in case I don't get a settlement.                           JOY


  1. Both my wife's uncles would never tolerate pot. That is until they could not bear to eat or live with the pain. One was hospitalized and one went to die in seclusion where the pot was grown on his property in the sticks. I remember Sarah Palin answering she used it to the press. It was legal in her state of Alaska until the feds decided it wasn't. God put it here for a reason. No doubt, no shame, no judgement. Medicinal. Praying for you and your family. I love you. Jim

  2. Oh choose Joy because you choose honesty! What a cleansing post this is! Everyone needs to do what they need to for themselves. Vicodin and Norco are way worse then marijuana...just more socially acceptable. I'm so glad you walked that walk with him so he could get some relief. Even though you feel guilty every day you write it down you have power over it! You are so so so brave! Just keep swimming...just keep swimming (insert Dory's voice here) even if it's inch by inch and you will heal. ((HUGS))

  3. What a difficult decision you have to make. One thing that I have learned recently is that if we put our trust in the Lord, he will provide the way. Everything in heaven and on earth was created by him and there is a purpose for it.

    Sometimes we just need to remember to pray to him, so we can know if this is what is right for us.

    I remember when I came in the United States and had to decide to stay here and start over or go back to my home country to help those in need, get married, and be close to relatives. Even thought that sounded good, I learned that God had a different plan for me. When I turned to him in prayer and fasting, he made it clear to me that I should stay. There are times that I wish I went back to my home country but God has a mission here for me.

    My friend Richard shared of a time he felt God's presence in his life. He knew that he was not alone and did not have to go through his trails alone.
    I hope you figure out what is the right thing in your situation. I know that God is there for you and you just need to turn to him and let him guide you.